74. ORLEN Rally Poland 2017
29. 6. – 2. 7. 2017, Mikołajki • Polski Związek Motorowy • gravel 318.74 km - (cancelled 6.52 km) • total distance including road sections - 1422.63 km • Other years
"I'm really happy. We've been strong in the last couple of rallies. Our main goal was to catch points on Ogier and we've done two events in a row. Closing up the gap is a good achievement. He's still the man to beat. For the last five rallies we've had to battle until the very last part of event stage. It was really, really tough. Here I was happy to finish the last stage a bit more relaxed with a bigger margin. The end of the championship will be really interesting and tough."
"A big relief. It feels like a win. You have no idea how hard this year has been. Huge thanks to the team, they've been really patient. This takes a lot of pressure off."
"The [front splitter] lip was damaged so the car is not at the optimum. I'm just happy to finish. Not a deserved podium, but that's how it is sometimes and you have to take it. I'm sorry for Ott, he did a fantastic job, super quick. Such as shame it ended like this for him."
"I can be positive, fourth place is good and I'm happy to score good manufacturers and drivers points. But for me, fourth is not what I expected. I want more, for next rally I will try to do my best."
"I don't know what happened, I lost the rear - in the same place as Tanak I think - but I was able to keep the car on the road. Very disappointing to make a mistake in the last stage. "
"I think this has been the best rally of my career so far! Thanks to my team and my engineer. I'm very happy. I have a good confidence with the car."
"Not a perfect stage but I enjoyed the jump at the end."
"I had good focus for this stage, but there was a little rain at the beginning and it was more slippery than I though. I went wide and lost some speed there. If the rain keeps going maybe it will be more difficult for the guys behind. Despite the retirement it has been a great weekend in many ways. The car and the speed have been good."
"We gave it a go. This stage is much more enjoyable with better grip. A clean stage and I'm happy to end the rally like this."
"This rally has been one of the most difficult of my life. We all worked hard but it's been tough. This rally has knocked my confidence. I have a big test now before Finland - I must remember [the podium] we got there last year."
"Okay, one stage to go. The podium was what I wanted here."
"I'm satisfied. It's been a tough event and second place would be good for the championship. Ole Christian has done very well. I always knew he was quick, but he has been consistent too. I'm happy. If I can manage to take this to the finish It will be good."
"It's been a very great rally so far. Now just one stage to go. If we finish like this it will be the greatest high point in my career."
"One more stage to go. I took it quite calm in here compared to this morning. I felt well. I won't push on the Power Stage. There is no need to take risks."
"I'm sorry for Ott, it was a big battle there. He's obviously got the speed and it's going to be a big fight in Finland. We're just tying to have a clean rally. One more stage to go."
"Yeah, into a field. Really strange, in a fast corner the rear just snapped and kicked me off into a field. I have to go..."
"Puncture - like yesterday it happened in the ruts, 3km from the end."
"An okay time. Not the best, but in the ruts our sump guard was touching the ground a lot."
"Better, but the ride height was wrong - we touched the sump guard a lot. Now we focus on the last stage. I think points are possible."
"Quite rough but drier than I expected. All in all not so bad."
"We pushed hard now. Let's see what the other guys can do but that's pretty much the maximum for the moment."
"Quite deeps ruts, no big surprise. Maybe the next one will be the same?"
"A hell of a lot easier than the first pass. It's dried up a lot."
"It happened in the only muddy place in the forest. I hit a bank with the rear and it pulled the front into a tree. That's it. You need to push hard if you want to win."
"I'm sorry for him. He did an unbelievable rally. Many people in here told me he was going to go off so I took it steady in here and I managed. It feels good."
"For sure we are not pushing. The only place we will is the Power Stage."
"Slippery as hell."
"My fault - we worked on the car before the stage. The tools were under my feet - I lost my concentration."
stalled on start
"I liked the jump! Difficult conditions though. Some big moments - even though I was on the safe side. I'm glad I'm not pushing to the limit."
"No grip in a braking [zone] and I just went straight. It was so slippery. I thought I braked early but I was just sliding."
has been off
'That's actually not so bad. I made a few changes beforehand. I don't know if it was those or the road conditions that made the difference but I had a bit more confidence."
"Today's tactic is just to stay on the road. I was very careful in here, hopefully not too careful, but I was almost off the road twice. Let's see how Pontus does. Hopefully it should be fine."
"Very demanding at the start. An amazing job from Ott - I take my hat off to him. We are in a different position - only the Power Stage to fight for."
"It's okay. I didn't take any risks in this one. Fast and smooth. I could have done more but in these conditions I didn't want to go off. I will continue in my rhythm and let's see where it gets us."
"I tried my best but it was so slippery. In many places I was lucky to get back in the lines just in time."
"I'm taking it really easy, almost like a recce. Keeping it neat and tidy. Those guys behind are in for an exciting ride. It will be interesting see what happens."
"Super tricky, some corners absolutely no grip. Not the best conditions to be fighting for the win. And I'm pushing too, I'm not completely safe, Dani is close behind."
"It was very slippery and muddy, very easy to make a mistake."
"Crazy stage. No grip at all. The last part was better. The time was okay."
"Very slippy. I tried to push but nearly went off in the second corner. After that I was more calm."
"Quite nice, a clean dry line, I enjoyed it,"
"Completely undriveable at the beginning. I just had to get it through."
"We had a moment near the start and we nearly slipped off. After that I lost the confidence - I was too cautious."
"It's difficult to describe. The first part is nothing like driving a rally. So slippery - oy oy! It will be interesting on the second pass through. On Friday we thought it couldn't get any worse..."
"Horrific. Really, really slippery. Worse even than we saw on Friday. I had a couple of moments early on and they really knocked my confidence."
"It was difficult on the big jump. I tried to be very very clean with no mistakes. That's the best I can do. Tomorrow anything is possible."
"There is some kind of engine thing we are working on. It is not stable, let's say, but it's working more often than it's not."
"It was probably the most difficult stage of the loop but still we had an enjoyable day overall."
"We are not fast in the ruts. I need to think about how I can be faster in them tomorrow."
"Something is not working well with the rear diff. I do not take big risks."
Part of his sump guard is hanging down. "A bit of a distraction, but I think it's just noisy and nothing serious."
"Still not ideal for us in here - too sandy. It is what it is..."
"Generally the feeling is getting better and better, but I have destroyed my front splitter here so it's more difficult to drive."
"It's hard to get the confidence back again. I'm trying to build it stage-by-stage but it's not easy opening the road. Still a lot of room for improvement. I don't feel I'm at 50 per cent of what I can do."
"It exploded in a corner 10km before the end. Maybe something I hit. That's life."
"I don't believe it. I didn't hit anything. It happened after 7km. I pushed on and had a few moments."
"We saw Ogier with problems too so we need to keep up the push - a win is possible."
"It's very risky. It's very difficult. What can we do?"
"We are fighting a little bit. There is something wrong on the engine. We had to do some work. Now all is fine I hope."
"It didn't feel so good here. Trying to make too many corrections in the ruts."
"I make a big mistake in a hairpin - I arrived flat out! I knew the place very well - I just tried to brake later."
"I was too careful in the ruts. Last year I was here in an R5 car. In this car I can go much faster in them."
"I tried to keep the maximum right to the end - I touched some grass in the last corner. It's okay. A strong day."
"Not rough but a lot of deep lines. You are not really driving. It's a bit dodgy."
"Definitely better. Probably the best stage of the loop for us. The most abrasive."
"Not so bad. The car was fine in this stage [no cutting out]. I'm getting good experience of being first on the road for the future. Big ruts but no rocks."
"It just flew off. I saw Jari-Matti parked on the road side."
"No punctures this time. A nice stage, not so rough as the first one."
"Unbelievable stage. Flat out everywhere. A big push!"
"I had a slow puncture halfway in the previous stage. This was okay, not as rough as I expected."
"I was a bit surprised in a places."
"Beautiful stage. I enjoyed it. Dark clouds now, a few drops of rain on the windscreen."
"Not so bad. A lot more enjoyable to drive in the afternoon. A few spots of rain in there."
"Better. We raised the car so the ride height was correct. I have to say I'm happy - a clean stage for us."
"A small electrical problem, the car cut out and I had to restart it. Very strange."
"I tried to push a bit in here. The car felt good, the road is very rough but I feel comfortable. Now I have to continue."
"The fight [with Neuville] is enjoyable but the roads are extremely difficult. It's so hard to understand where the rough places are. The grip is consistently high."
"The car feels better but I can't tell you what I've done. A scary moment less than 1km before the finish when I went sideways in a rut - I thought it was going to roll."
"Certainly better than this morning. Well done to the team, they have done fantastic job and now we are back to normal speed."
"Just trying to enjoy it. There's quite a big gap ahead and behind us. No point trying be a hero."
"That's a good thing. It was clean, but difficult to drive flat out in the ruts - you can lose it really easily."
"Exactly the same same set-up as before. We were a bit afraid of the rain. The car felt quite soft in here."
"A lot better than the morning. We are a lot closer to where we want to be. All okay. We're going to keep on getting the car round, and hoping for some dry conditions later."
"Conditions are much better now. There are lots of ruts that we can use to our advantage. We could have used them more but I didn't want to risk a puncture. A little bit give and take."
"The stage looks okay, manky dry but some of the ruts and bits and bobs were tricky. We made a couple of small changes in service. I was a bit lost before."
"Seb's struggling a bit without the front aero, and that's a chance for us to pull ahead. I'm enjoying throwing the car around a bit."
"Now I start pushing a bit more. I get the feeling Ott wont give up. The time is great. In the car it's okay but you have to be brave in places. I hope it stays dry this afternoon, If it's wet it will be a disaster."
"Pushing to the maximum. The last split was extreme. Using all of the road and a lot more."
"I had a big, big attack here because the ruts are not so bad."
"It's really bad to drive without the aero. In a couple of jumps we were completely flying with no control - that's when you realise how important it is."
"Better. A clean run without mistakes. Better than earlier. Still a few things we can improve."
"A lot more mud in here than the previous stages. A bit of time loss with a stall in a chicane."
"I lifted in a section I had been practicing on video so much! I missed a junction, went into a field and through an electric fence."
"I lost time on the previous stage with a small moment where Mikkelsen went off. Here I pushed well, but the road is getting more and more dirty and slippery on the Tarmac section."
"Very clean but the road is getting extremely soft now - hard to find the line."
"We were unlucky. We picked up a slow puncture in the first stage, then another 1km into the next one. Then 1km before the end, when the tyre was off the rim, I spun and hit a step and lost even more. The car is not fine now. I miss the front bumper and lots of down force."
"A better day when the conditions are more even. A bit more aggression in there - I thought I'd give [co-driver] Seb a good ride because the All Blacks just lost to the Lions."
"Not really happy. Small things that we hope we can change for the next loop."
"It didn't feel so bad. I felt good in the stage. Happy with the car. I enjoyed,"
"I need to stay on the high revs with the engine, we know what to do."
" I'm more and more happy. The stage is completely dry and cleaning a lot."
"A couple of small silly mistakes in junctions but it's nice to have some consistency again. A good base to work from. We changed a lot of things on the car in service last night and it just works today."
went off. He got back on again but slowed three cars behind.
"Very slippery and we went off into a field. We were very lucky."
"I'm enjoying it a lot more today. Difficult to gauge the right speed in the muddy sections but I enjoyed it. We're pushing on at a good speed."
"No mistakes. Quite clean driving. The plan is to continue like this and try to improve my driving. More stage wins? Hopefully..."
"It's difficult to say where the best place in the start order is - a bit further back I expect."
"I went off just after the beginning. There was a bank before a corner, I couldn't turn in and went off into a field. I'm surprised I didn't lose more time!"
"I struggled a bit now and then. Soft, slippery and wet in some places and sometimes I didn't have the confidence to push on."
fuel pump problem
"A good feeling. The car is behaving nicely and stage conditions are okay. I hit a small rock on the inside and for a moment I was hoping we didn't puncture. We have to investigate but so far it looks okay."
"The car is far too soft - we have to make it stiffer."
"This stage I can tell you is a tricky one! Very fast and narrow between the trees. If you do a mistake it's the end of the game straightaway. You must be focused."
"We tried. Not a bad stage for us but Hayden was fast..."
"The car feels good but I lost the feeling with the brake pedal about halfway through - I had to pump it a bit towards the end."
"It's all about pace notes in here. I try to do my best. "
"I tried to push but I was too cautious. I lose some seconds."
"We're closer for sure. The feeling is better but still not great."
"Very different from yesterday. An okay stage. A new test, so I'm trying to discover it a bit. Happy enough. The car feels really nice in these conditions,"
"I feel a lot more comfortable with the car. Not such a nervous feeling all the time. It wiil take a while to build the speed but the confidence is starting to go in the right way."
"A really, really good day for us. One stage to go and hopefully I will lead at the end of day one. I like these stages. An enjoyable day."
"I need to find the balance between fighting and safety."
"In the end I missed a junction and needed to reverse. A small mistake in the muddy braking. The afternoon loop has been good. Tomorrow I need to continue our good work without mistakes."
"Very deep ruts. And I noticed a puncture on the start so I was careful in every left-hand corner not to take the tyre off the rim."
"I just want to get back to service now and have a reset. My plan for tomorrow? Do better."
"Not satisfied, we are losing quite a lot. We know what to do tomorrow - today I was too low on the second pass."
" I'm looking forward hopefully to some drier weather tomorrow so we can enjoy these stages."
"We know it's just down to what we have available on the day. We have to get through it and wait for our day."
"It's still quite slippery but definitely better than this morning. Feels more "normal" now."
"The afternoon I'm struggling in the ruts. I can't get the car to turn in. I haven't tested this car enough in these conditions."
"It's still Friday so I'm not on the limit. Some extreme conditions this afternoon so no need to go all out for the moment."
"We are suffering with our road position. Okay, we gained a bit in the morning but we lose in the afternoon. When I push the car behaves well. I've done a good stage."
"Like the whole afternoon I'm on the limit. I pushed as hard as I can. We have to analyse why, but I can't go faster. I was hoping for better today but the conditions in the afternoon didn't help me."
"At the beginning it was good but later I was sliding a lot in the ruts. Still, quite an okay time. I'm feeling comfortable. Still learning."
"The ride height was too low. I lose some seconds with this mistake."
"It feels a bit better. I'm sure everybody has said the conditions are difficult - and they are. It was horrible this morning and I would say horrible again this afternoon."
"We've got the suspension working a bit better. When I don't get any surprises from the car, and the grip is more constant, then I get back to my normal driving again. I'm happy with the changes we've made."
"A really terrible feeling, to be honest. I'm constantly, constantly afraid of crashing. Not nice on roads like this."
"Quite rutted in here. We tried to raise the car before the stage but the dampers were covered in mud and we couldn't do it."
"It's okay. A bit different. The stage was a bit rutted. Today is all about keeping it smooth."
"These conditions are a bit better - you can drive and control the car. Here I have more feeling in the road."
"I was too much afraid of the slippy places because I had a moment on the previous stage. I was just too cautious."
"Conditions really bad in there so I didn't take any risks and I'm happy with that... "
"I had a push. Not easy, there are no lines. I tried to follow Seb's lines in a couple of corners, but when I got off it was really slippery. For sure the road will be better for the cars behind."
"I tried. The first one maybe I was too defensive, but here I tried everything. It's impossible. For sure I'm going to lose time but I pushed everything I could."
"Really? Okay, it was a clean run. The conditions are different to the first loop. That's good but we still have a lot of things to improve. It's just one stage and I want more."
"The grip was better than I expected."
"We made quite big changes in service and it seems to be working well. We changed something on the diff and it has helped with the turn-in."
"The car feels better now. The team made some changes in service and now I have much more feeling for the grip."
"Shocking. We made a couple of set-up changes but we'll make a couple more now"
"We made some set up changes in service and they have transformed the car. I'm much more comfortable. What changes? Many changes..."
"I didn't think it was possible, but it was worse than this morning!"
"It's totally stupid to drive like this. You can't drive. It's like a lottery."
"Horrendous. Absolutely terrible. The grip is really, really low. The car is going from side to side. It's amazing that we are here."
"The conditions are something crazy. It's difficult to understand what is happening - it's so slippery and rutted. Maybe the conditions are going to get better [for those behind]."
"A lot of standing water in the ruts. I tried to avoid most of them. A good stage, but there is no line. We are cleaning the road to benefit the guys behind."
"Terrible. Undriveable. A lot of water in the ruts now. It's really, really hard."
"A horrible stage. I went off a bit. After that I just tried to keep the car on the road."
“Tried to push a bit, but in a right hander, very slippery, went out a little bit and hit a tree stump, rear left damage."
"The first section wasn't bad. The rain had almost stopped but then it started again and the surface was immediately more muddy and slippery. Conditions should be more consistent for all of us this afternoon."
"Tricky. Hard to know where the grip is. More of the same, really."
"I spun. I arrived at a corner and there was no grip. When conditions are like this it is better to stay on the road. It is not very comfortable in there."
One of his wiper blades is missing. "It broke on stage four and is a little bit distracting. We changed them from side to side so my one is working."
"I stalled on the start line. The engine was weak on the start. What can we do?"
"Yeah, it was better. I was quite committed apart from one or two corners when I got the braking wrong. Otherwise I pushed hard in places where I knew I would only go off into fields."
"It's still quick here even if it's wet. A difficult morning for everyone I think but I expect the second loop will be harder. First on the road has been not such a bad position to be in, but it's still not been an easy morning."
"We try things [on the car] but it doesn't seem to change a lot."
"Yes, I saw a wheel was damaged - not in the right direction. For me it was very difficult stage. We made a very good set up for the dry but it looks like it isn't working in the wet."
"A bit frustrating when you see the times of the top guys. I tried, but I'm losing quite a lot."
"It's getting more slippery with every single car. You can't fight physics. Full credit to Esapekka behind, he's doing a better job than we are here."
"I have front-wheel-drive. It's an absolute disaster."
"Tough for us. We have to keep doing what we can. It's really risky for us, we have okay grip at one point and then nothing. It's hard to know how much to commit."
"For me it's difficult to go fast because the grip is not consistent and I don't like that. This stage was a little more constant. A tricky rally for the moment, but I'm still on the road so I'm happy."
"I have a good feeling with the car. The conditions are difficult. Some sections good grip, some sections slippery. You have to think ahead."
" There are places I can be faster but at the moment I don't need to. I don't want to make any stupid mistakes."
"This is all about daring to take risks. I'm happy with my drive but it's hard to be on the limit."
"This time the driving was good, I can be happy with that. I know where I can go faster. I think the stages are getting more and more muddy. A lot of wheel spin."
"I didn't take any risks in here and the time is not so bad."
"The rain is increasing a lot now. It's very difficult with water in the lines and mud everywhere. Like on Tarmac, there is no grip left."
"I find it very hard. The car is understeering in some corners and oversteering in others."
"A small error with the pace note reading. Janne jumped one line and I didn't know where to go for a moment. It's okay - we are still here."
"This was better than the first one, but it's still difficult to guess what the grip will be like in any corner."
"I'm struggling for any confidence. You can't read the grip levels here. I'm not doing a very good job in these conditions."
"Really hard for us. I was surprised at the amount of grip in the first half but in the second half, when the road turns black, I was getting caught out in the mud."
"I don't have mechanical feeling when it is so wet and muddy. I'm trying all I can."
"That's surprising because I didn't think I was driving so well. The grip is changing so much!"
"It went a bit better than the first stage. A bit of a better feeling but still tricky."
"Much more grip than I expected on the first part and less at the end. I struggled to find a good rhythm. I was too slow at the start."
" It's going to be a long day I think. A lot of grip changes and the road is hard to read. You cannot be on the limit. At the end I was too careful."
"I've never seen conditions like this!"
“Very slippery, but I think I had a good run and I’m happy!”
"A clean run, but it's difficult to judge how this time will match up. Still, we are here and that's the important thing!"
"I stalled the engine in the first junction. The rest of the stage was better. I enjoy the car but I need to improve my driving and avoid mistakes."
"Everything is okay. I touched one bale on the front right, but I think it's okay."
"Very, very hard. So slippery - especially under braking."
"The car is like a boat - I'm just sailing and hoping. I have to be cautious, put it a lot sideways and try to survice."
"It's like driving on ice, there is no grip at all. We have no chance with our road position"
"It feels like two-wheel-drive. Something is broken in the transmission."
"A few mistakes here and there but generally it's just impossible to drive."
"I missed the first junction after the start & lost time. I don't have a lot of confidence in these conditions."
"It's getting very muddy and I missed a bit one junction on the tarmac - I went straight on."
"So many surprises! The braking is so slippy, I went against the bank a coupe of times. There's no grip at all. It will be difficult for the guys behind."
"It's tricky, really slippery in some sections. The same for all of us though. We expected these conditions. The grip is low."